facebook: a glance at the other side of the social network

By in general, mobile, social networks, strategy, uncategorized on Sunday, 24 October 2010

I love the stuff that comes my way through Facebook. Its a regular part of my daily routine, just as much as checking my post, answering my phone or opening my email.

What’s cool about Facebook is that it’s actually reflecting us. We’re shaping it every day. Facebook is as we are.

But you know, there’s another side to this. No, I’m not talking about some clandestine plot, What I’m suggesting is that Facebook is actually shaping us, too.

OK, so what do I mean by that. Do I mean its changed our habits, like fashion or television?

No, I’m saying it goes beyond that. Way beyond it. I’m saying its changing us as a society.

The real power of social networking – actions and interactions

Every society in the world is constantly being shaped by the actions of those within them. And those changes are accelerated by the interactive technology available to us.

Look at all those lost tribes stories. Remote communities cut off from the rest of the world. They pretty well stagnate because they have no disruptive force applied to them.

That’s why China and the Arab world work so hard to control the information that’s provided via the Internet as much as they suppress the freedom of their dissidents.

The rapidly-expanding power of the Internet and the plethora of personal devices available to access it are changing society faster than ever before.

But its Facebook, the biggest single entity on the Internet today, that is leading that change. Having suggested, do I have an example to back it up?

Facebook, the New Rock & Roll

How often have we been told that such-and-such is the new Rock & Roll or the New Black. Too many. What defines the magnitude of change from something new?

I’m sure someone has come up with a better definition of this than me, but I’d suggest this. Basically, I’d define it as disruption over evolution.

Society can be regarded as disrupted if our behaviours and conversation suddenly shift.

One example is Rock & Roll. Or The Beatles, Flower Power or Rap. OK, sorry, that’s four. Yeah, cool. Peace and love man, dude, skin, bro, blood. But what about Facebook?

Facebook – a new language, a new social bond

Facebook has disrupted behaviours by re-defining our priorities. We’ll check our Facebook profile more often than any other indication of our status. Its changed how we report events to each other, how we arrange our social diary and scarily, it defines our relationships.

In the US, Facebook evidence is now the most common submission in divorce cases.

Even profile images, that little picture of us can often be of more than one person. Weird!

But has Facebook met the second LANZen criteria. Has it changed our social language?

Well, actually, it has. But not as radically or as in your face as say Rock & Roll, Flower Power or Rap, but changed we undoubtedly are.

Girls now “love” each other. A friend is “hun”. We affirm not by yes, yeah, or yep, but “Yea”.

Facebook – shifting time itself

Facebook users have a new measure of time used for upcoming social events. “Sleeps”. For example. you’re going away in 3 days. Not if you’re on Facebook, you’re not.

“Yea, three more sleeps until my holidays. Love you.”

Facebook members are the New Society?

I know now how our forebears felt when the Beatles came along. Lets’ take this diatribe to its logical conclusion. Facebook as disrupter is the defining force of the New Society.

If that is the case and if you’re within that tiny minority that is ignoring or rejecting Facebook, then society has shifted away from you and you’re no longer part of society’s mainstream.

And that, my Facebook friends, shows the colossal power of the Social Network.

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